The newsletter of Environment Canterbury
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‘Wicked’ water issues inside Jess Scarsbrook (Burnside), Vivien Henschke (Hillmorton), Arava McNally (CPIT mentor) and Tanesha Simeon (Kaikōura) took part in a hui around Te Waihora in early May – which included another 15 students and mentors – to explore and better understand fresh water issues.
Cleaner, healthier air is important to Canterbury people
Calling all urban woodburner users it’s time to burn smoke free If you’re a woodburner user you’ll be getting ready to stoke up your fire.
Over the past few years we’ve been working closely with the community to find out how important air quality is to people, and what they think can be done to improve it.
Before you do, we have some very important information on how you can burn smoke free and play your part to improve air quality.
Everyone wants cleaner, healthier air to breathe and we all have a role to play in this.
If you are one of the 45,000 households with a woodburner in Canterbury you may need to change the way you burn – even if you have a modern appliance and are using dry wood.
Every year we see improvements in air quality. This year we want to do even better. There are new rules included in our proposed Canterbury Air Regional Plan requiring better management from householders, industry, farmers, and developers. The proposed Air Plan also provides new rules on home heating which is the greatest contributor to winter air pollution in Canterbury towns and cities. It requires people to burn smoke free and transition to cleaner heating options.
You will receive a letter soon with detailed instructions on how to burn smoke free. You can also view a video on our website letscleartheair.co.nz. Once you’ve had time to become a confident smoke free burner our Air Pollution Officers will be out on the street looking for smoky chimneys. If action isn’t taken to burn smoke free a $750 fine could be issued. The letscleartheair.co.nz website has good instructions on how to burn smoke free including a short informative video.
Help and support is available For those who need it, there is help and support available in each of Canterbury’s seven airsheds.
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In Timaru the home heating assistance programme provides financial help to community services card holders to change to cleaner and more efficient forms of heating.
Learning how to set and build a brightly burning fire is part of Environment Canterbury’s focus on reducing smoky chimneys and air pollution. Here Noeline Packman benefits from Paul Judkins’ instruction in better burning techniques.
In Christchurch, Kaiapoi, Rangiora and Ashburton we are working closely with
Facilitating sustainable development Image: Metro blue line with passengers in the Canterbury region www.ecan.govt.nz
Community Energy Action to help people in need. People can also talk to their banks to see what assistance is available as the cost of new heating and/or insulation can often be added to homeowners’ mortgages without additional fees. Contact us on 0800 329 276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see what support could be available for you.
Community setting the agenda in the Waitaki
Te Waihora/Lake Elle The lake with a future Te Waihora is a considerable resource for Ngāi Tahu known as Te Kete Ika a Rākaihautū (The Fish Basket of Rākaihautū).
Protecting and improving water quality in the Waitaki Valley and the Upper Waitaki is the focus of a wide-ranging set of recommendations presented recently to Environment Canterbury and the district councils for Mackenzie, Waimate and Waitaki. The recommendations – which come from the two Waitaki zone committees set up as part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy – provide for development (farming, tourism, power generation) while ensuring water quality meets community expectations. In summary: • The Upper Waitaki zone committee is seeking to maintain the existing high water quality as well as protecting and enhancing recreational, customary and biodiversity values. It also provides for safe and secure supplies of drinking water and water for irrigation and electricity generation.
Today, Te Waihora has enormous water quality challenges; a legacy of 150 years of agricultural development across the Canterbury Plains. The legacy includes increased nutrients and sediment in lowland streams and a degraded, but by no means “dead” lake. Over the past decade lots of work has been started to protect and restore the lake. This work has now become much more focused and integrated because of collaboration between locals and iwi, advocacy groups, councils, and central government, led by the Selwyn Waihora zone committee set up under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.
The Selwyn Waihora Pla
Variation 1 to the Canterbu Regional Plan (see map are
The decisions from the hearin Plan have been accepted by and the policies and rules ca (although the Plan is still sub
The key aspects of the Plan a shown here – reflect years of led by the local zone commit acceptable solutions.
We need good policy and rul enable community wishes – a leadership and action on the areas) to help achieve impro
• The Lower Waitaki committee supports catchment groups working with community members to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment losses, and recommends a monitoring programme to provide progress reports. Some of the recommendations ask Environment Canterbury (and other councils) to write policies and rules that enable better water quality, while other recommendations ask land-managers to take action. For farmers this includes an ongoing commitment to good management practices as well as putting in place effective Farm Environment Plans.
Keeping stock out of drains and waterways In the Plan, stock are not allowed in drains, streams, rivers, and lakes. This will reduce nutrients, sediment and bacteria in waterways and the lake.
The recommendations will be translated into polices and rules to form the Waitaki Sub-Regional Section of the proposed Land and Water Regional Plan, which is expected to become legally effective later this year.
Opportunity for the Waimakariri community Water quantity The Plan sets limits on how much surface water and groundwater can be used. From 2025 the Plan also sets minimum flows on rivers and streams to protect the environment. It includes a ban on new water takes and restrictions on the transfer of water permits. A prohibition on new damming extends to the Waianiwaniwa River and its tributaries and the north branch of the Selwyn River/Waikirikiri.
People living and working in the Waimakariri district have been invited to join the discussion around improving fresh water quality.
Harts Creek – a restoration success
The Waimakariri zone committee hosted several community meetings in April and May. The aim was to help people better understand how fresh water is protected by council rules, and how these rules affected property owners or farmers. The rules around protecting fresh water in Waimakariri will be reviewed next year and the meetings help people better understand the issues as well as the process (the Waimakariri Sub-Regional Section of the proposed Land and Water Regional Plan). The zone committee also wants to set up local management groups to help identify the water management issues and solutions which need to be covered in the Waimakariri section of the Plan.
For more information For more information on proposed Variation 1, go to www.ecan.govt.nz/selwyn-waihora
Locals living and farming alongside Harts Creek – one of the main tributaries flowing into Te Waihora – have spent the past 15 years protecting and restoring the waterway. Peter Chamberlain asked Environment Canterbury for help and funding from 1999 and together with other farmers – including local poet and farmer Colin Patterson – has led the impressive work to fence, plant and protect the creek. Visit www.wet.org.nz for their story.
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‘Wicked’ water problems a focus for young leaders The Selwyn Waihora zone committee’s vision
ng on the Selwyn Waihora Environment Canterbury ame into effect on May 9 bject to legal appeals).
To restore the mauri of the lake – Te Waihora – while maintaining the prosperous land-based economy and thriving communities
and other actions – as f community collaboration ttee to find enduring and
ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater Nineteen young leaders were introduced to Canterbury’s ‘wicked’ water issues at a hui in early May. In Canterbury there is broad agreement we need to find longterm sustainable solutions to improve fresh water quality – which is happening through the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. The hui mirrored the Strategy’s approach of a handson approach to understand a problem before local solutions are developed and put into place.
les – which reflect and as well as ongoing local e ground (in urban and rural ovements in the lake.
The 19 young leaders spent a week around Te Waihora/ Lake Ellesmere exploring fresh water issues. This included time in the field and discussions with key people (local zone committee and iwi members, Central Plains Water representatives, environmental advocates, academics and council staff).
Managing nutrients The Plan will see farmers having to reduce the amount of nitrogen leaching from their properties which will improve the health of Te Waihora.
On the final day the participants reflected on what they had learnt and made presentations to an audience of parents, teachers, local runanga, community members and council staff.
Farmers with higher rates of nitrogen leaching will need to do more (with stricter controls set to come in by 2022). Most farmers will need to have a Farm Environment Plan to identify and manage environmental risk.
It was clear they had a much better understanding of the wicked issues we are facing in Canterbury, but also that much is being done to address these issues through collaboration and finding community solutions.
Central Plains Water has been given a nitrogen load to allow dryland farmers to convert to irrigation.
It will be great to see them take what they have learnt back to their peers and encourage them to get involved too.
The Plan also has limits on discharges such as community sewage and industrial processing activities.
The hui was organised by the Untouched World™ Charitable Trust and was facilitated by Environment Canterbury’s Youth Engagement team, with support from CPIT.
Water quality the focus for farm actions in North Canterbury
Whakaora Te Waihora
A cultural first for a plan
The joint restoration programme Whakaora Te Waihora has achieved many milestones, such as thousands of plants in the ground, but there is much still to do. A combination of biodiversity work, cultural monitoring, science investigations, engineering works including lake openings, and farm improvements, will help deliver the long-term water quality goals. Visit www.tewaihora.org.
The significance of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and its margins to Ngāi Tahu are recognised in the new Plan. The Cultural Landscape Values Management Area in the Plan means consent applications will need to specifically take into account Ngāi Tahu values.
Farmers in the Hurunui-Waiau and Kaikōura areas are being helped with on-the-ground actions aimed at improving water quality in local streams and rivers. A team of Environment Canterbury advisors has been set up in Amberley to promote continuous on-farm improvements. The new approach has come from the work led by the local zone committees to develop community solutions for local water issues. Having a team on the ground in Amberley has provided Environment Canterbury with the resource to work more closely with the zone committee in helping to achieve their aims for biodiversity, nutrient management and water quality. The new team is also helping strengthen relationships between the council and farmers, along with other organisations and industry groups.
Let’s keep our urban streams clean Keeping stormwater clean is crucial to improving the water quality and health of urban streams and rivers. The Christchurch West Melton zone committee – a joint committee of Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council and Environment Canterbury – wants better treatment of stormwater at source to help improve urban waterway health.
Public hearing on preliminary draft Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan
An example of what can be done to protect stormwater is happening around Addington Brook in Christchurch, an important but polluted waterway which starts in an industrial area, and flows into the Avon River/Ōtakaro near the daffodil gardens in Hagley Park. Every high-risk business in the Addington Brook area is being visited by Environment Canterbury staff who are talking to people about what they can do to keep stormwater clean and reduce their impact on the local environment. So far around 40 businesses have been visited with another 20 to go. SCIRT – Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team – is also repairing stormwater pipes in the Addington area and is taking care to control sediment from excavations so it doesn’t run into the gutter and from there via drains into Addington Brook.
A public hearing about the preliminary draft Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan is underway. Without this Plan, the rebuild of the Port would need around 100 resource consents from Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council. This would mean a slow and uncertain recovery process. Therefore, Environment Canterbury asked the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery to consider the best approach to rebuilding the Port, including how to involve the community in decision-making and ensure appropriate environmental safeguards. In June last year, the Minister directed that a Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan should be developed. Proposals in the Plan include providing for an extra 27 hectares of reclaimed land at Te Awaparahi Bay for a new container terminal, ensuring better public access to the waterfront while limiting the redevelopment of Dampier Bay so it doesn’t compete with Lyttelton’s town centre and providing for the repair or rebuild of many of the wharves in the Inner Harbour.
In early May staff from SCIRT, Fulton Hogan and Environment Canterbury spent a Saturday morning stencilling stormwater grates in the Addington area with fish patterns and the words ‘drains go to rivers and streams’.
During April, Environment Canterbury held a series of well attended public meetings to answer questions and encourage people to make submissions on the preliminary draft Plan. Submissions closed on May 11, and a submission report is available online at www.ecan.govt.nz/port. The hearing panel will make recommendations to Environment Canterbury, which will then make a decision on the draft Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan before presenting it to the Minister by mid-August.
Home repair and rebuild info hub The In the Know Hub at Christchurch’s Eastgate Shopping Centre (by the foodcourt) is the place to go to get up-to-date information to help you progress your home repair or rebuild process. At the Hub, there are various earthquake recovery agencies and support services under one roof. You can meet with them face-to-face, get information and advice, be connected with an agency or financial and support services, and establish the next steps for you to progress your home repair or rebuild. Not all agencies are at the Hub every day. Please call 0800 777 482 (0800 777 HUB) for more information.
The Hub will operate through to 26 June 2015 and be open:
You can book a time to meet with an EQC representative to discuss your EQC claim by calling 0800 326 243.
Timaru 75 Church Street PO Box 550 P. 03 687 7800
It’s time to get rid of banned chemicals sitting in your shed. Environment Canterbury is encouraging farmers to make the most of a nationwide amnesty collection of banned pesticides.
Walk-ins are welcome where space allows but because space is limited you are encouraged to book a seat in advance by calling 0800 777 482.
Despite being phased out decades ago, banned pesticides are still known to be stored on rural properties throughout New Zealand.
Check www.intheknow.org.nz regularly as the list of seminar topics and presenters will be updated as new seminars are confirmed.
For more information visit www.intheknow.org
(closed Friday to Sunday and on public holidays)
Christchurch PO Box 345 Christchurch 8140 P. 03 365 3828
The great DDT muster
Seminars on residential repair and rebuild related topics will be held at the Hub each Thursday. These will be presented by topic experts with an opportunity for you to ask questions.
• Monday – Wednesday: 9am – 6pm • Thursday: 9am – 8pm
Environment Canterbury Offices
For more information go to www.ecan.govt.nz/port
‘The Great DDT Muster’ gives farmers and growers a free and confidential chance to register banned persistent organic pollutants (POPs) for safe collection and disposal. The free collection being managed by 3R Group Ltd, in association with Agrecovery on a first-in first-served basis so Canterbury farmers should act quickly. More information on POPs and how to register for free collection can be found at www.thegreatddtmuster.co.nz or by calling 0800 247 326.
Contact details Kaikōura 73 Beach Road PO Box 59 P. 03 319 5781
Online: www.ecan.govt.nz Email: email@example.com Customer Services: 0800 EC INFO Free phone: 0800 324 636 or Christchurch: 03 353 9007
Contact the Commissioners: 0800 COMMISSIONERS (0800 266 647) firstname.lastname@example.org Metroinfo ChCh: 03 366 8855
Businfo Timaru: 03 688 5544 Pollution Hotline: 03 366 4663 (inside Christchurch) (24 hours) Pollution Hotline: 0800 76 55 88 (outside Christchurch) (24 hours)
Civil defence: 03 366 2359 River & flood infoline: 0900 74837 (charges apply) 0900 RIVER River report: www.ecan.govt.nz/riverreport Riverflows: www.ecan.govt.nz/riverflows